Story of Pediatric Rehabilitation Center
Tetiana Chub is the technical director of the medical rehabilitation and palliative care center for children in Kharkiv, which has been under heavy shelling by the Russian army since the beginning of the war. “When they were shelling, we were carrying children in our arms to the basement. Afterwards, we had to carry everyone upstairs. Only two of them could walk independently.”
Tetiana lived in Saltivka, a residential area of Kharkiv that was seriously damaged by shelling. A missile hit the roof of her house, windows in the apartment were blown out. Nothing remained of her summer house. Tetiana and her husband slept on the floor in the office. Now she lives at her daughter’s place.
It was possible to evacuate some of the wards to Germany together with their mothers and medical staff, albeit with great difficulty. But other families serviced by the center could not leave Kharkiv because their children would not survive the hurdles of transportation. Those who are connected to oxygen machines cannot be moved out. “Deterioration of children’s condition is what parents face. And this is the reason why we all began returning to work little by little, regardless of the risks. Now our occupational therapist, physical therapist, pediatrician, and speech pathologists keep working at the Center. It is very difficult to do under the constant shelling, but children cannot make it without rehabilitation.” And Tetiana cannot leave them. “I do not panic at all. I believe in our victory,” she says. “This is our home –we have to be here and fight as best we can.”
By Olena Struk. July 7, 2022. Translated by Khrystyna Mykhailiuk. Abridged by Aya Mantsur-Shane